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In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Some things never change, but the presentation of American history is not one of them.
According to Frances FitzGerald, in her recent analysis of nineteenth- and twentieth-century history texts, these works have variously tucked away unpleasantries and wrapped up with high-minded moralizing the facts and figures that make up our American heritage.
Even the recorded facts have changed: Columbus has been superseded by such social reformers as Jacob Riis and William Lloyd Garrison, and once-heralded military generals have faded away as black Americans, ethnic minorities, and women emerge in the newer tellings of American history. The books sound and look different, too.
The anecdotal style of the nineteenth century gave way in the s to a telegraphic style that conveyed a new tone of restraint and spurious objectivity.
In current textbooks, the word "progress" has become "change," and terms like "fatherland" and "founding fathers" are not to be found. As a result of attention to reproductions of folk art, photography, and other primary materials, these contemporary texts also diverge in visual style from their predecessors.
FitzGerald likens the physical appearance of new history books to Architectural Digest or Vogue. What has not changed throughout all the repackagings the American past has endured in the textbooks, FitzGerald tells us, is the regrettable mediocrity inherent in the conception of these texts.
Always quick to avoid controversy, developers of recent history schoolbooks—for, FitzGerald notes, they are "developed," not "written"—approach history "backward or inside out, as it were, beginning with public demand and ending with the historian" p. In fact, she finds the most disheartening constant in the texts to be their silence on the subject of intellectual history; it remains a "well-kept secret," for example, that the founding fathers were intellectuals pp.
They and other powerful Americans are never credited with serious thinking. And texts make no attempt to link the politics, economics, and culture within a given period or from one era to another.
This failure to provide conceptual connections for historical events leads to what FitzGerald calls the "Natural Disaster" theory of history: And History is just one damn thing after another" p. All this is not to say that FitzGerald finds no relief from the mediocrity underlying old and new history schoolbooks.
Her continual inquiries into the problems publishers have faced—and into their motivations for watering down history—provide an ongoing subplot in addition to a partial explanation of why the subject matter of American history texts has been so protean.
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FitzGerald's polemic analysis argues that contemporary texts reflect current social quarrels, frequently distorting history into 5/5(5).
Nov 12, · Best Answer: It is about the history that we read is not what actually happened but what the people who wrote it want us to believe happened.
For instance read any documentary account of any war or battle but read the stroy from both sides - you will believe you are reading about 2 different urbanagricultureinitiative.com: Resolved. Rewriting american history frances fitzgerald analysis essay Apprentoile bordeaux 2 victor segalen essay dissertation abstract philosophySpincast reel descriptive essay.
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Boston: Atlantic-Little, Brown, Some things never change, but the presentation of American history is not one of them.
According to Frances FitzGerald, in her recent analysis of nineteenth- and twentieth. claudius hamlet essay about revengeAcquainted with the night ap essay push and pull factors of immigration essay introduction kim dong ryul an essay of memory lyrics barbra dramatism theory application essay rewriting american history frances fitzgerald analysis essay anti rh bill essay texas long report essay e commerce research papers Oct 18, · Accordingly, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that he is placing portraits of slaves and abolitionists around the picture of George Washington in the Gracie Mansion.